Of late, pundits have alternatively lamented and celebrated diminishing funding and student enthusiasm for the arts and humanities at the nation’s schools. If only the Chinese-born artist Wen-Ying Tsai, who died in January, were here to advise these two camps—which often seem at intractable odds—as to the entirely possible marriage of their views.
Mr. Tsai, who trained in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, later applied his technical skills to creating motorized, ultra-modern sculptures, which showed at the Museum of Modern Art and Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. He also helped to establish the Tsai Art and Science Foundation, which promotes artists and scientists whose work illustrates the intersection and interdependence of the two disciplines. Now Mr. Tsai’s longtime home at 7 East 19th Street has passed from his family’s hands, according to city records—for the tidy sum of $12 million. Perhaps some portion of the proceeds will go toward mediation for those warring factions?
Last week, The New York Times ran a story on China that sounded remarkably like a story that the Times reported had been killed by Bloomberg News, without mentioning the coincidence.
Shortly after a Chinese business tapped Studley’s newly opened Shanghai office to help it expand beyond the city and country and procure space in New York earlier this year, Yin Li, head of the brokerage firm’s China operations, hit a roadblock.
In line with standards in China, Ms. Li’s client was looking to sign a short-term two- or three-year lease, which New York landlords were reluctant to accommodate. Instead, Ms. Li convinced her client to seek out an alternative—a sublease deal.
When Forest City Ratner broke ground on the first of its apartment buildings at Atlantic Yards, a 32-story tower at Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, it was poised to be ”the world’s tallest prefabricated, or modular, building,” according to The New York Times.
But it one crazy Chinese developer makes good on his word, Read More
A New Yorker in China
One night after my Cantonese class, a fellow student approached me to let off some steam. Like me, Jean-Baptiste was struggling mightily with the tonal language. “These evenings,” he said in a thick French accent, “would be much more enjoyable if I stayed at home and was a potato couch.”
I couldn’t have with him more agreed. Our instructor, a 60-something former “office creature,” is decidedly old-school. She follows the textbook to a T, and asks us to repeat after her. It’s immensely boring.
A couple weeks after I moved to Hong Kong, I had coffee with a British woman named Margaret.
Margaret had lived in Hong Kong for many years and was the director of business for a communications consultancy. When I lived in New York, I had occasionally worked as a corporate trainer, and wanted to resume Read More
Chris Buckley, a correspondent for The New York Times, and his family had to leave mainland China and fly to Hong Kong today because his visa was not renewed, the Times reports. Mr. Buckley has worked in China since 2000 and returned to the Times in September after reporting for Reuters. Although the Times applied for Mr. Buckley’s visa transfer at the time, the Chinese authorities failed to grant the journalist credentials before the start of 2013.
The Chinese government blocked The New York Times website after the paper published an article about prime minister Wen Jiabao’s family’s hidden fortune, the Times reported.
The English- and Chinese-language websites went down just a couple hours after the story went up on Friday morning there. When the article was mentioned on the BBC, the station suddenly went black, tweeted Louisa Lim, NPR’s Beijing correspondent. The topic has been banned from Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter.
Standing in a Manhattan event space with cocktails and views of the Hudson, Chen Guangcheng was far removed from the countryside house that confined him for over a year and a half, before he captivated the world in April and May by escaping from house arrest in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, being taken in by the American Embassy in Beijing. Blind since childhood, Mr. Guangcheng climbed and felt his way past the guards posted around his home by the local authorities, who had imprisoned him for 51 months on charges largely considered to have been fabricated, before releasing him to his home. A self-taught, or “barefoot,” lawyer, he had irked the local authorities by legally challenging their unlawful land seizures, treatment of the disabled, pollution and incidents of forced abortions and sterilization to enforce the one-child policy.
The Chinese activist was surrounded by fellow lawyers on Wednesday night, though they were less likely to be from his village than from The Village, where, after some diplomatic tension between the U.S. and China, he now attends NYU Law School as a visiting scholar. Human Rights First, an organization that advocates the government for greater American leadership in fighting for global human rights, honored Mr. Chen at its annual awards dinner, held at Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60.
Leonine developer Douglas Durst might not be quite the public presence than his father Seymour once was—a regular in the letters to the editor column and on local talk shows, among other outlets for his restless mind—yet he still very much knows his way around a podium. Last week, he found himself in China, talking about New York, and he even seems to admit that the one investment his firm recently made just across the Formosa Strait might not have been its best.
“My experience is almost completely New York centric,” Mr. Durst said at the China Alliance’s US-China Investment Summit: Focus On New York Real Estate in Shenzen. “Our one experience outside of New York convinced us to stay in New York. Real Estate is always local.”
He also, naturally, talked about his kids—it’s now a fourth generation business!—and how building sustainably not only provides better buildings, and thus better income, for them, but also a better world. There was talk of 4 Times Square and 1 Bryant Park, but nothing about the widely anticipated, mildly concerning West 57th Street pyramid. The full speech is below.